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Honours even in windswept A1 derby versus Biggleswade FC

Sunday, 02 February 2020 14:09

SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE CENTRAL

St Neots Town        1       Biggleswade FC        1          

Two points lost rather than one point gained – that was perhaps a rather harsh assessment of the outcome of this local match, because St Neots had done almost everything except put the ball in the net in a dominant second half performance.   After a slow start in which they had conceded a goal, St Neots came back to level the scores and share play in an entertaining first half.   Biggleswade are a team in form having won five of their last seven matches – but only one of those victories had come on foreign soil.   The home side lacked a killer punch but to the credit of the visitors they defended as those their lives were dependant upon it, and they paid the price for their determination when defender Daniel Newton picked up a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Lee Watkins.   Even with a numeric advantage St Neots lacked the penetration their superior possession deserved, and the visitors will be well pleased to return home with a share of the spoils.   St Neots inability to take full advantage was partly down to having to play without their main striker Joe Neal who had failed to shake off an injury picked up in the midweek match, and there were in total three St Neots team changes from the Corby match with Jacob Joseph also carrying an injury and Prince Mutswunguma left on the bench.   Into the reshaped side came man of the match Joe Sutton, playmaker Lewis Simper and Lewis Foster.

In an end to end start it was the visiting side that impressed.   In their first real attack after five minutes they almost went ahead when a looping Tom Coles header bounced on the top of the crossbar from a Ryan Inskip corner, and then sixty seconds later they did forge into the lead.   A swift move from the back saw the ball switched wide towards Scott Joseph wide on the left, and with a neat turn of speed he nipped in between defender Tom Boxer and keeper Finley Iron to skilfully lob the ball into the unguarded net.   This setback seemed to prompt St Neots into positive action, and they took the game to their visitors and were rewarded twelve minutes later when an Aaron Smith corner picked out Lewis Simper and his cross to the far post was bundled in by skipper Tom Boxer (pictured right middle) from six yards.   St Neots then continued to look in control as Sam Gomersall had a shot well saved by Tyler Josephs, and Joe Sutton saw a net bound shot blocked by a defender.   Biggleswade then had a good spell around the half hour as Joe Leslie had an effort blocked and when a St Neots defensive error set up the visiting attack, the unmarked Joseph was only inches away from what would have been a second goal for him and his side.     In the St Neots goal Iron had to be alert to keeper at bay shots from Lee Northfield and Inskip and the half ended with St Neots full back Sam Goode moving forward to join his attack to see his effort blocked by a combination of two defenders.

St Neots had the wind at their backs after the break and quickly began to make it count.   From a Lee Watkins cross, Gomersall went inside his marker to see his effort rebound from a post and then Tom Boxer headed narrowly over the crossbar.   Sutton tested Josephs with a low shot and the keeper had to be at his best to get down to gather a low shot at full stretch from Panny Boxer.   Sutton in full flight was then hauled down by Oswick but the free kick on the edge of the penalty area from Simper was too high.   For 25 minutes nothing had been seen of the Biggleswade attack but then a clever through pass freed Joseph beyond the St Neots defence, but his woeful finish was several yards wide of the goal.   That proved to be an exception to the pattern of play as St Neots strove to keep the pressure on the visiting defence and they sent on Prince Mutswunguma for Lewis Foster but still created few clear openings.   The sending off of Newton saw Biggleswade reinforce their packed defence in order to preserve their point and this they achieved despite Simper skimming the crossbar and late substitute Rajan Badiani and Mutswunguma both firing over the top.

 

Bottom right photo - Tom Boxer's equaliser - courtesy of David  R. W. Richardson, copyright (c) Rich In Video 2020

 

SAINTS SUPPORTERS' MAN OF THE MATCH - JOE SUTTON (pictured top right)

 

Match Highlights courtesy of SNTtv - St Neots Town 1 - 1 Biggleswade FC

 

 

St Neots: Iron, Goode, Smith, Boxer (P), Dickens, Boxer (T), Sutton, Watkins, Foster, Simper, Gomersall

Subs:  Mutswunguma (for Foster 74 mins), Badiani (for Gomersall 90 mins), Shaw, Butler and Crosby.

Cards:  none

Goals:  Boxer (T) (18 mins)

 

Biggleswade:  Josephs, Hunt, Marsh, Northfield, Newton, Oswick, Coles, Fisher, Joseph, Leslie, Inskip

Subs:  Andrews (for Northfield 67 mins), Gauge (for Inskip 77 mins), Langley, Richardson and Simpson.

Cards:  Newton (RED – 77 mins), Leslie (Y – 74 mins)

Goals:  Joseph (6 mins)

 

Referee:  Jeffrey Aldous (Bedford)

Attendance:       287

 

John Walker

 

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